Brake pads wear out naturally over time as they are used to stop and slow down the car repeatedly. It is natural for them to wear down to a certain point where they need to be replaced. However, there are other factors and issues that can lead to premature brake pad wear, as well as uneven brake wear. Understanding these causes may help you keep your brake pads lasting longer, so you won't have to replace them as often.
Here are 6 issues that can lead to excess brake pad wear, according to the auto repair experts at Fox Run Auto in Bear, DE:
1. Brake Problems
Sometimes, there are issues with the mechanical components of the brakes. It may only be one set of brakes having issues and that can affect how all the brakes on each wheel perform. There could be a problem like a damaged, warped or dirty rotor or a malfunctioning caliper. There may be a problem with the brake fluid or hydraulic lines. This is why it's important to get your brakes inspected periodically and serviced as needed. You can catch minor problems before they lead to major concerns.
2. Tire Issues
Believe it or not, the health of your tires can affect several other mechanical systems important to the vehicle. Bald tires may take more brake power to bring the vehicle to a complete stop. Uneven tire wear can lead to uneven brake pad wear. Tire air pressure that is too low or too high can also impact the brake system.
3. Wheel Alignment
A leading cause of uneven brake wear (as well as uneven tire wear) is poor wheel alignment. Wheels that are out of alignment can really put added stress on the brake system. Again, it's smart to get your wheel alignment tested periodically for the betterment of your wheels, tires, brakes, suspension and vehicle handling.
4. Brake Pad Quality
Sometimes you get what you pay for with brake pads. You save a little money by installing cheaper pads. Months later, they are already starting to wear out. Listen to your mechanic and consider their recommendations. You may end up saving more money over time by investing in better quality brake pads. This doesn't mean you should overspend and buy the most expensive pads either. There are usually options in the middle price range that provide an ideal combination of performance and durability for your specific vehicle make and model.
5. Excess Weight
The more weight you carry in your vehicle (this can include towing trailers or other vehicle), the more stress you will be putting on your brakes, suspension, wheels, tires, etc. You may have no choice but to carry heavier loads. Just know you may have to change out your brake pads more often and/or you may need to consider heavier duty brake pads.
6. Driving Habits
Lastly, your own driving habits will have a direct impact on the long-term health of you brakes and brake pads. Driving excessively fast, jamming on the brakes too hard, riding the brake pedal too much, not using the right gears, and other bad habits can easily cause excess brake pad wear.
For all your brake service needs in Northern Delaware, including free brake inspections and brake pad replacement, count on Fox Run Auto. Call us today at (302) 597-9205 or schedule your service appointment online. Be sure to check out our Specials page for a free brake inspection coupon and other deals on brake maintenance services.